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Patient Positioning

Last Updated: September 27, 2018

Patient positioning is an integral part of operative planning. It can prevent pressure-related injuries, expand the operative corridor using gravity retraction and minimize surgeon’s fatigue.

Figure 1: Patient positioning for one of Cushing’s pediatric patients suffering from a recurrent posterior fossa tumor. Please note the growth over the area of suboccipital decompression performed during the initial operation (Courtesy of Cushing Brain Tumor Registry at Yale University).

Patient positioning for surgery often does not receive the attention it deserves. Small openings leading to deep operative fields require ergonomic patient positions to ensure a precise operative trajectory.

Several principles can be crucial in determining...